“The statue pays homage to three who said no to war, to the lies that lead to war and to the intrusion into private life that helps to perpetuate war,” said Dormino, the artworks creator.
Berlin, Germany –This past Friday life-size bronze statues of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning were unveiled in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz Square in front of German politicians and activists.
In Germany and much of the world, the three are considered heroes in the fight for freedom of information and speech, for their respective leaking of classified U.S. documents.
“They have lost their freedom for the truth, so they remind us how important it is to know the truth,” said the artworks creator, Italian sculptor Davide Dormino, during the unveiling.
The artwork is not only an ode to the courage of these three whistleblowers, but also serves as a call to citizens to take a stand, as the three are standing on chairs with a fourth empty chair next to them.
— dwnews (@dwnews) May 4, 2015
The piece is titled, “Anything to Say?” with the empty chair actually being the focal point of the piece, according to Dormino.
“The fourth chair is open to anyone here in Berlin who wants to get up and say anything they want,” Dormino told Deutsche Welle.
A number of people took the opportunity to stand upon the chair and speak, some with a loudspeaker, in an effort to show that they are not afraid to take a stand and speak truth similarly to these three whistleblowers.
“People are saying many different things. From politics to babbling to silence, from people who desperately are wanting to help Julian, Bradley and Edward to people who have no idea who they are. This chair is, I guess, a place of free speech,” said Dormino.
Sadly, most of the U.S. mainstream media has accepted the official U.S. government line, and attempted to call the actions and motivations of these three into question.
According to Euronews:
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange faces extradition to Sweden to face investigation into accusations of rape and sexual assault, but fears he will be extradited to the US to face questions over his role in leaking secret US documents. He has taken asylum in Ecuador’s London Embassy.
US soldier Chelsea Manning (born Bradley Manning) was convicted in 2013 on charges relating to the Espionage Act for leaking US intelligence and military documents to Wikileaks. She is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence.
Edward Snowden is currently evading extradition to the US by taking asylum in Russia. He released classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) to journalists revealing the scale of the US government’s global surveillance capabilities.
“The statue pays homage to three who said no to war, to the lies that lead to war and to the intrusion into private life that helps to perpetuate war,” Dormino said.
Dormino says he will take the exhibit worldwide, displaying the piece in some of the most prominent public spaces across the globe. Of course one place the display will likely be unwelcome is the U.S., as a bronze bust of Snowden was removed immediately after being displayed in a public park.
It’s clear that most of the world recognizes the courageousness of the deeds these three whistleblowers have undertaken at the cost of their own freedom.
When will these three be recognized as the heroes and freedom fighter they truly are in the U.S.?
Please share this story if you agree that we should honor those who have the true courage to do what is right even if it is self-sacrificing.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.